Category Archives: Food

Garden is finished

Wow… I have had 22 days in a row at or above 100%. 1.44 inches of rain in the past 48 days.

Poor old garden has died, dried up and is a fire hazard. Squash, cucumbers and beans stopped producing about the middle of June. Okra has hung on but with the high temps has stopped producing.

Pond has dried up, yesterday I saw a bull frog holding a tiny sign that said “Will work for water.” Last week I spied 2 crawdads in the bottom of the dry pond digging a well.

It has been 103 to 112 for the past 18 days and my weather guy said I can expect the next 7 day to be the same.
Spending a lot of time slow, deep watering grape vines and fruit trees. I have to much invested in them to let our regular scheduled dry spell kill them.

I know an old Comanche Indian that says he’s 193 years old, well he said that’s how old he feels.
I complained about the drought and high temperatures and he told me son you live in Southwest Oklahoma, it gets hot, it gets dry, quit your damn whining.

O-Well there’s always next year.

Happy Gardening

Summer vegetables!

It’s the 8 day of June and I have been harvesting radishes, 3 types, french breakfast, icicle and cherry bells for about 2 weeks.

Zucchini and straight yellow squash are producing bushels of squash. This abundant harvest has allowed me to feed my family and a small village of 2500 and still have surplus to feed the horse and donkey.

Lettuce was a failure, planted to late and summer heat got most of the lettuce crop. I’ll try again late this fall.

Happy Gardening

2022 Gardening Season

National Weather Service is forecasting snow today. It’s hard to be thinking of garden planting on days like today, but time is running out on getting the garden well tilled, compost and manure tilled in to the soil.

Garden soil is very dry, we have had less than 2 inches of rain in the past 3 months. This makes working the soil difficult at best.

Garden seed has arrived. I plant mostly summer, warm/hot weather vegetables in the spring and a few cooler weather vegetables like turnips, collards and beets in mid to late July for fall harvest.

I needed a few canning jars and lids for the up coming canning season. Much to my surprise jars don’t seem to be in short supply but quality Mason/Kerr and Ball jar lids are difficult to locate.
I finely after many attempts managed to buy 5 dozen regular and the same number of wide mouth Ball brand lids from Walmart.

Be aware that some brands of jar lids on the market have been reported to have up to a 50 percent failure rate.
In this event your only choices are to refrigerate and consume those jars of canned fruits/vegetables in the next few days or to replace the lid and reprocess those jars in the hope they seal on your second try.

Happy Gardening

Bad News For Your Pocket Book

Sea ports are closed or operating at 40 – 60 percent capacity, a truck driver shortage of 80,000 drivers. Rising fuel cost, rising labor cost, sky rocking cost of new replacement transportation vehicles. Forced closures of container storage areas and closure of warehouses (Biden, governors and mayors lock-down mandates.) Most experts in the transportation industry do not see conditions improving for months or possibility years.

Ports in Asia and Europe are not fairing any better than American ports. This is compounding the shipping problem by causing a shortage of available ships, trucks, rail cars and shipping containers at manufacturing businesses world wide.

When Donald Trump was president October 2020, the price to ship a 40 foot container from Asia to California was $3,800. That price under Biden’s administration cost spiked to $17,000 per-container in October of 2021, according to supply chain technology company Freightos.
Freightos said that shipping a container to the east coast is more expensive than the west coast, with rates reaching $20,000.

More than 100 ships were reported this week to be anchored off the coast of California waiting their turn to dock and unload full containers. But the seaports are stocked so high that ports are forcing vessels to wait up to 1 month before unloading.

As many as 200,000 40 foot shipping containers are stranded off the coast waiting to dock in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles had nearly 500 thousand 20-foot shipping containers, about 12 million metric tons of goods waiting in drift areas and at anchor for spots to open up along the port to dock and unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California’s master queuing list.

The effect of rising fuel costs, a large container vessel used in Trans-Pacific trade, with an actual, maximum container capacity of 3,875 FEUs (forty foot containers.)
With the cost of bunker fuel at $552 per ton, and with fuel consumption of 217 tons per day, a 28-day round trip voyage for this one vessel would produce a fuel bill of $3,353,952. This cost does not include the daily cost of operating/maintaining the ship and it’s crew.

Biden administration, Governors and Mayors forced coronavirus lock-downs has had a tremendous negative impact on the transportation industry nationwide, causing headaches at sea ports, warehouses, railways, and trucking companies.

Will history books record 1816, the year Without A Summer and 2022 the year America Did Without everything?

Flat Bread, Fast and Easy

Flat Bread:

Ingredients:
6 – servings —————————— 2-3 servings

2 cups of flour—————————— 1 cup
3/4 cup water——————————- 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons of oil————————- 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon salt—————————- 1/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon of baking powder————- 1/2 tablespoon
For cooking – 2 teaspoons of oil

Preparation:
If you like herb bread add 1 teaspoon of herb(s) fresh or dried that you like.

In a bowl mix all of the dough ingredients into a unified dough. Add a bit more water it your dough is dry.
Knead with your hands for 2-3 minutes and shape into a ball.

Divide the ball into 6 and roll each part into a disc shape.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick pan on high heat.

Cook each disc of dough, About 1-2 minutes on each side. Take care not to burn your flat bread.

Place the flat bread on a plate or fold in half to be used like a flour toco tortilla, cover with a clean
kitchen towel to keep warm.

** Convert this recipe to make tortilla’s by omitting the baking powder.

Food Inflation and the Supply Chain

This past year my annual food cost have risen around $600 to $1,000 dollars during 2021.

For some this is not a real financial burden. However for me being on a fixed income a 7% or 8% cost of food increase is a burden and must be dealt with the best way(s) I know.
To this end I have been collecting unused canning jars from friends and family members and buying what I can’t find free with the goal of doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables I can to carry me through the cold non-garden months.

My vegetable garden space has doubled from past years and I am adding a few more fruit trees to my tiny orchard. Much to my dismay and sticker shock my normal list of vegetable seeds are 3 and in some cases 4 times the price from last spring. I’ll do much more seed saving this fall.
Planted Hybrid seeds do not come back true to it’s mother plant, they tend to revert back to one of it’s parent plants. Often this is not a good thing.
Heirloom plants are open pollinated and do come back true to it’s mother plant and as such are the best choice if you plan to save seed for next years vegetable garden.

Small bare root fruit trees and many grape vines if you can find them at all have shot up in price from about $25 dollars last spring to $45 to $75 dollars each this spring planting season. Almost every fruit tree variety I have been looking for is simply not available this season.

For the first time in many years I harvested and processed 2 bucks and 4 does to supplement my meat supply this year.
I am in the process of cleaning, repairing, painting my old rabbit hutches. I haven’t raised meat rabbits for about 10 years, however it’s time to get 3 or 4 does and a buck. Properly managed each doe will produce 3 litters a year averaging 6 kits per-litter. Growing to a butcher weight of about 5-6 pounds each in 6-8 weeks. Yearly each doe will produce 25-30 pounds of healthy, low fat, great tasting meat.

Happy Safe 2022.

2,000 Gallons Water Produces 1 Pound of Almonds

California supplies about 80% of the United States almonds, and dedicates 80 million gallons, of water to grow Almond crops.
To grow one almond requires 1.1 gallons of water, and to grow a pound of Almonds takes 1,900 gallons of water. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and cashews all use roughly the same amount of water to grow.

Ten percent of California’s water is guzzled up by almonds.

Ebooks and Books in PDF format – Download for Free

I have been meaning to post this Link for a while.
PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 79,850,920 eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy it and don’t forget to bookmark and share the love!

A little bit About PDF Drive

PDF Drive is a free search engine which allows you to search, preview and download millions of PDF files into your devices. Our crawlers are constantly scanning the world wide web to add PDF files to our database. In the case that PDF files are withdrawn from the web, then they are also immediately withdrawn from PDF Drive search results. In this way, our PDF Drive library stays up-to-date, while continuously growing and offering you an enormous database to search. In addition to the traditional search engines, PDF Drive has these extra features:

Previews
All files have cover photos which helps you save time.

Advanced Filtering
You can filter and sort PDF files by their page number, publication date, file size, and/or by popularity.

Fast
It takes only milliseconds to search PDF files.

Up-to-date
PDF Drive’s archive is constantly growing while being consistently and efficiently updated.

Hope you find something that makes your life easier and filled with fun.

Herbs make common foods taste special

Most herbs will do well in container gardens and window boxes. If they are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them cooking and serving every meal.

Sage does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody too soon. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted after about 3 years since it will become woody stems with little leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them safe after drying you will have that wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects. Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so I feel that each harvest yields two separate things: leaves and stems. Keep the stems in a freezer bag in my freezer and use them for grilling skewers. Since rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water but likes to dry out between watering, I think that being in its own container makes the herb grow that much hardier, since it can receive special care.

Basil is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you can be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

Thyme is an often undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs! It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering. Some varieties grow into small shrub-like plants that enhance an entrance, and its tiny purple flowers are lovely. Being such a low maintenance herb, you can see how well thyme will fit in your container garden.

Mint is notorious for getting away from the gardener. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. If you are trying to keep your varieties pure, cross pollination is easy to do if the strains are too close together. Containers can be placed far enough away from one another to keep your pineapple mint from suddenly tasting like catnip-pineapple mint. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is also so tasty, it can be used more often if it is handy.

Chives Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Frozen Soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Dried Game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegars, salads, mustards, sauces hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar, Soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Greek Oregano Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Sauces white and tomato, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegars.

Rosemary Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Sage Leaves/Flowers Fresh or Dried
Stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh baked potato’s and fresh garden salads.

Old Hens… Chickens not people

Before you purchase your chick(s) look 2 years in to the future.

For some people chickens only serve two purposes, primarily a source of fresh eggs, second as a source of fresh meat.
But for some they become pets no different from the family dog. This is where looking into the future is important.

Chicken commonly live 5 to 7 years, however it is not uncommon for them to live to the ripe old age of 10 or more years.

Egg production starts at about 24 – 26 weeks of age (6 months) and will decrease sightly every year after that. By 3 years of age it is likely to the point that you will need to replace your laying hens.

What do you do with them at this point in time? Sell them? Give them to an unsuspecting friend or neighbor? Butcher them to be served for Sunday dinner?

If you have become attached to them for what ever reason butchering them is not an option. However you must decide if the pleasure you get from their presents is worth the reduced or no egg production and the daily cost of feed and maintaining a safe and secure living space.

All is not lost. Even with reduced egg production they are still good weeders and eat every insect find and can catch.

Hint: Keep Them As Broody Hens/Mothers
If you own a broody hen (or hens), consider using them to hatch a few eggs. Those old hens will be perfectly happy sitting on some eggs all day, and it would save you the cost of buying an incubator.

Happy Gardening